Interactive effects of inbreeding and endocrine disruption on reproduction in a model laboratory fish
Le Page, G
© 2012 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Inbreeding depression is expected to be more severe in stressful environments. However, the extent to which inbreeding affects the vulnerability of populations to environmental stressors, such as chemical exposure, remains unresolved. Here we report on the combined impacts of inbreeding and exposure to an endocrine disrupting chemical (the fungicide clotrimazole) on zebrafish (Danio rerio). We show that whilst inbreeding can negatively affect reproductive traits, not all traits are affected equally. Inbreeding depression frequently only became apparent when fish were additionally stressed by chemical exposure. Embryo viability was significantly reduced in inbred exposed fish and there was a tendency for inbred males to sire fewer offspring when in direct competition with outbred individuals. Levels of plasma 11-ketotestosterone, a key male sex hormone, showed substantial inbreeding depression that was unaffected by addition of the fungicide. In contrast, there was no effect of inbreeding or clotrimazole exposure on egg production. Overall, our data provide evidence that stress may amplify the effects of inbreeding on key reproductive traits, particularly those associated with male fitness. This may have important implications when considering the consequences of exposure to chemical pollutants on the fitness of wild populations.
Thanks to NERC's Post Genomics & Proteomics Programme NE/F0077871/1 and AstraZeneca's Safety, Health and Environment Research Programme for funding this work. We thank Alexander Scott (11-ketotestosterone radioimmunoassay) at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Jan Shears and Luanne Wilkes at University of Exeter, Gareth Readman, Vicki Cammack, Kate Hurd and Yohanna Glennon at Brixham Environmental Laboratory for their assistance.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 6 (2), pp. 279 - 289
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